Hog heavenIt's been called the restaurant of the future...


October 23, 1994|By Kim Wesley

Hog heaven

It's been called the restaurant of the future, with its synchronized theatrical presentation and tons of motorcycle memorabilia. It's the Harley-Davidson Cafe in New York. Music-lovers and movie fans can have the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood -- this is the place to be for anyone who loves "the Hog."

A cross between a biker's theme park and a special-effects theater, the Harley-Davidson Cafe lets patrons "rev-up" atop an authentic Harley bike and feel the thrill of the road. Video screens drop from the ceiling with a movie documenting Harley's impact on pop culture. And everywhere on the walls, ceiling and in glass cases are bits and parts of Harleys and the clothing accessories of the people who ride them.

"Gourmet road food" is also an attraction at the Harley-Davidson Cafe. Some favorites on the menu: Brisket Pot Pie, Fried Oysters and Arugula Salad, and Sesame Crusted Catfish. For information, call (212) 245-6000.

Rightly or wrongly, New York has a reputation as an expensive city to visit. But there are several free attractions, too, as the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau points out. Among the freebies:

* Concerts and dance performances in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center, on the plaza at Lincoln Center and at parks citywide, weather permitting.

* Tours of the New York Stock Exchange, Grand Central Terminal and Rockefeller Center.

* Exhibits at the New York Public Library.

* Tickets to tapings of such TV shows as "David Letterman" and "Saturday Night Live."

* Exhibitions of African-American art and artifacts at Harlem's Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture.

* It's not quite free but it's still one of the city's greatest bargains and enduring traditions: a round trip on the Staten Island Ferry for 50 cents.

For more information, call the visitors' bureau at (212) 397-8222.

Landmarks in rock

New York is where the Rolling Stones shot an album cover . . . here's the area that inspired Joni Mitchell's song "Chelsea Morning" . . . and here's where Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" was recorded. The sites are part of the Rock and Roll Tour of New York, which for $25 takes visitors on a 2 1/2 -hour expedition to the bTC city's rock-and-roll landmarks. For more information, call (212) 807-ROCK.

View from on high

For a grand view of New York, the World Trade Center is again open. Its Observation Deck, 1,310 feet above sea level, is reached by two express elevators that soar 107 floors to the glass-enclosed deck; a rooftop promenade on the 110th floor is open, weather permitting. In addition to the stunning view, you can take in the exhibit "Everything You Ever Wondered About the WTC and More"; you can even have a "sky-high" snack. For information on the center, call (212) 435-7397.

Boardwalk on wheels

Have a seat and see the Boardwalk, on one of Atlantic City's oldest and most unusual forms of transportation -- the rolling chair.

The three-wheeled chairs first made their appearance in 1887, and have been managed since 1984 by the Famous Rolling Chair Co. The chairs roll from Albany Ave. to New Jersey Ave. year-round, seating up to three adults. Most operators are local people who can provide a walking monologue on the sights.

There are 110 chairs on the Boardwalk, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday to Friday and until 5 a.m. on Saturdays. Chairs rent for $5 to $25. Check with hotels or call (609) 449-7131 for information.

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